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Vol. 38-2 (August 2023) Immigrant Entrepreneurship and the Rising Popularity of Korean Cuisine: Korean Restaurant Businesses in Frankfurt (Jihye Kim)


In recent decades there has been a dramatic increase in Korean restaurants in Frankfurt, Germany. Based on ethnographic research conducted in Frankfurt in 2022, this research explores multiple situational factors across socio-structural layers influencing Korean restaurant owners in their decision to open their businesses. The study found that the economic, cultural, and social contexts in Germany, such as visa and settlement schemes, market conditions, and the cosmopolitan lifestyle in Frankfurt have been vital factors for Korean immigrants in Germany while ethnic networks and resources have been inconsequential. Korean restaurant owners in Frankfurt also contribute greatly to the shaping of trends in terms of interest in Korean food and culture in the host society through their own agency and in their interactions with local people. In the context of a rapid rise in popularity of Korean culture and food internationally, this study points to an uneasy fit between the case of Korean restaurant owners in Frankfurt and the prevailing conceptual frameworks of immigrant entrepreneurship in Europe, leading to the need to approach their case from new angles.

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Pacific Focus 2023.8. Issue Information.pdf

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